The Ultimate List of Automotive Marketing Statistics (2024)

December 22, 2023

The automotive sector is ever-expanding. 

In 2022, the global automotive market was valued at US$ 2,086 billion and is expected to grow to a whopping US$ 2,450 billion by 2028. That’s a CAGR of 2.79% from 2022 to 2028!

The automotive market size in the UK, measured by revenue, stood at a massive £47.2 billion in 2022. Whereas in Europe, the auto market was valued at US$ 14.94 billion the same year. 

Car buying intent continues to be strong. The share of car owners intending to purchase new cars registered a 3% year-on-year increase in 2023. 

But even with unwavering intent, the way customers buy a car is changing. Today, they spend more time online on research than they do at dealerships. 

The automotive digital journey is evolving


As the customer journey evolves, how can your business leave a mark in a competitive automotive sector? How do you determine what buyers prefer? What tactics can get you more leads? And what services do customers want after their purchase?

Let’s find out the answers to these questions and more, backed by the top automotive marketing statistics here.

Top stats: At a glance

  1. 88% of potential car buyers research their vehicle online (Ernst & Young, 2023)
  2. In 2022, car buyers spent 14 hours and 39 minutes researching and purchasing vehicles (Cox Automotive, 2022)
  3. Out of all websites that buyers visit, the most visited are third-party (79%), dealerships (59%), used vehicle retailers (34%) and automakers (33%) (Cox Automotive, 2022)
  4. 21% of car customers say social media directly informed their purchase (AM Online, 2022)
  5. 41% of automotive buyers use YouTube when looking to purchase a car, followed by Facebook (37%) and Instagram (21%) (Motortrader, 2022)
  6. One of the top industries where business reviews are important for customers is automotive (Bright Local, 2023)
  7. 69% of dealers want to upgrade digital workflow by implementing technology to refine the end-to-end customer experience by syncing buyer data to the deal (Cox Automotive, 2023)
  8. 34% of marketers consider lead generation a top priority in their marketing campaigns (HubSpot, 2022)
  9. Buyers who submit more detailed information online are more satisfied with their shopping journey (Cox Automotive, 2023)
  10. 61% of vehicle buyers in 2022 were highly satisfied with the purchase process, down from 66% the year earlier and well below the peak of 72% in 2020 (Cox Automotive, 2022)
  11. Consumers across markets most trust the dealer where they originally acquired or normally service their vehicle, signalling the important role dealers play in maintaining customer relationships (Deloitte, 2023)
  12. Dealers adopting the genuine agency model may see a potential rise in enterprise value by 10-12% (Automotive News Europe, 2021)

Automotive marketing statistics to keep an eye out for in 2024

Here are some automotive marketing statistics you need to know:

A. The buyer journey starts online 

  1. 88% of potential car buyers research their vehicle online (Ernst & Young, 2023)

A far cry from the good ol’ days of entering dealerships to find out everything about their dream car, buyers are conveniently tucking into their couch and surfing the internet for information.  

Automotive marketing must start online, optimised for mobile devices


  1. In 2022, car buyers spent 14 hours and 39 minutes researching and purchasing vehicles (Cox Automotive, 2022)

This marked a sizable 18% increase from 2021. Buyers are spending more time researching and finding the perfect car for their needs. 

It presents automotive businesses with the opportunity to meet buyers multiple times during those 14 hours and 39 minutes (online as well as offline). 

  1. 49% of consumers researched models entirely online for their most recent purchase (PwC, 2022)

And another 24% did their research both online and offline (at the dealership). 

With the lines blurring between online and offline purchases, OEMs and dealerships need to work closely to make the customer’s transition from awareness to decision (across channels) seamless. 

  1. In 2020, Millennials emerged as the demographic that bought most cars in the US (Business Insider, 2023)

As much as 77% of millennials are considering buying another car in 5 years.  

Automotive marketers take note: Millennials and Gen Z are auto shoppers of the future


For a generation that grew up alongside the internet, it’s no surprise they’re more comfortable starting their buying journey online. In fact, 28% of millennials have searched for automotive information online in the past 30 days. 

  1. Over 55% of Gen Z car buyers plan to order their next automotive online (McKinsey, 2023)

Only 17% of them rely completely on traditional dealerships, compared to more than 40% of the older generations. Gen Z buyers are clearly more comfortable taking the buyer journey online than any other demographic. 

This is the future of car buying. 

  1. For 46% of car dealers, a minimum of 9% of vehicle sales took place entirely over the Internet (PwC, 2022)

Dealerships are taking note of the changing ‘online to offline’ customer journey. Therefore, they’re increasing digital ad spends, reaching more leads.

  1. 79% of car customers prefer to shop in person (PwC, 2022)

The top reasons for shopping in person are to test drive cars (89%), to complete deals one-on-one with the salesperson (82%) and to experience the car before purchase (79%). 

While digital marketing is important and Gen Z buyers are the future, automotive businesses can’t ignore the current set of buyers. These potential customers still like to visit the car dealership and get a feel of the vehicle before completing a purchase.

B. Search and social proof add credibility 

  1. Car buyers visited more websites, an average of 4.9, in 2022 as compared to 4 in 2021. (Cox Automotive, 2022)
  2. Out of all websites, the most visited were third-party sites (79%), followed by dealerships (59%), used vehicle retailers (34%) and automaker websites (33%) (Cox Automotive, 2022)
Expert reviews help buyers research online and make a purchase

Source: carwow

Buyers start their purchase journey by searching for information on their options through third-party websites. These sites typically house expert reviews that guide buyers.

Most third-party websites also offer comparisons between multiple cars so shoppers can evaluate options.


  1. One of the top industries where business reviews are important for customers is automotive (Bright Local, 2023)

Social proof is indeed crucial for car buyers. Testimonials and reviews from existing customers create trust. And so, they look for real experiences from real customers to support their research. 

If you’re a dealer, set up a Google My Business profile complete with address, contact details, working hours and high-quality pictures of the showroom.

Google My Business profile for car dealerships is an important automotive marketing channel

Source: Google

C. Digital marketing improves visibility 

  1. For 81% of shoppers, online activities improve the overall buying experience (Cox Automotive, 2022)

Car buyers find the online journey more convenient and resourceful. This has also influenced automotive businesses to adapt their processes. 

  1. The most significant adjustment dealers make is increasing spend on digital marketing (52%) (PwC, 2022)

This is followed by changing the sales process (45%) and using new digital marketing tools (37%).

Similarly, as electric vehicles rise in popularity, impressions for EV ads have also increased by 309%, from 4 billion to 17 billion. The average automotive digital ad spend for a lead in 2022 was $250. But this could be higher for 2023 and 2024 as the automotive industry continues spending more on ads. 

Consider optimising your paid automotive marketing campaigns, mainly automotive digital ad spend, keywords and target audiences, to improve conversion.

D. Social media influences purchase 

  1. 71% of automotive shoppers use social media to support their car buying process (AM Online, 2022)

At the forefront of leveraging social media to support their purchase are the younger audiences. Nearly 25% of Millennials and over 1 in 5 Gen Zers directly contact a brand on social media for customer service.

Given that social media platforms have multiple features, including chat and comments, buyers can promptly reach out to car dealerships or OEMs to have queries answered.

Automotive businesses can stand out by improving their response time and resolving queries seamlessly from online to offline.

  1. 21% of car customers say social media directly informed their purchase (AM Online, 2022)

This figure is up from 16% in 2021—a stark increase showing that social media plays a significant role in influencing the purchase decision. 

Automotive marketers use social media to build familiarity

Source: Instagram

  1. 31% of customers scour social media reviews before completing a purchase (YouGov, 2023)

Other than Google and third-party reviews, potential buyers also check customer testimonials on social media. 

It’s best to keep your profile updated with recent buyer reviews. You could also source testimonials by incentivising customers. In addition, upload videos, images, or stories of happy customers receiving their cars or share posts that customers upload on your profile. 

  1. 41% of automotive buyers use YouTube when looking to purchase a car, followed by Facebook (37%) and Instagram (21%) (Motortrader, 2022)

Social media provides more accessible insights into automotives. Potential buyers can easily log in to their accounts and browse through various posts, videos, stories and other resources. 

Out of all formats, video is the most popular. 

  1. 4 of 10 UK car buyers use YouTube in their vehicle purchase process (Statista, 2022)

Videos are extremely popular because they’re the closest thing to a realistic experience that car shoppers can have. They see the car in action, listen to the engine sound and get a feel of the vehicle before entering the dealership.

YouTube is a key part of the digital marketing strategy for automotive marketers

Source: YouTube

Since YouTube is the second-most popular search engine after Google, you can use it for creating:

  • Product walkthroughs 
  • Resources 
  • Customer testimonials 
  • Review videos from experts, and more. 

  1. Over three-quarters of TikTok users looking to purchase a car use the platform for research (Insider Intelligence, 2022)

If YouTube is popular for videos, TikTok helps audiences discover new brands. 67% of users discovered a new automotive brand or product on the social media platform. 

Light-hearted content comes as a refreshment among all the competitive automotive posts. And TikTok is the best platform to improve discoverability with a fresh approach. 

  1. LinkedIn is 3x more effective at steering auto dollar sales than linear TV and other prime social platforms (LinkedIn, 2022)

While YouTube is the top choice for video, use LinkedIn for pushing sales, offers and dealership visits.  

E. Lead generation enriches intent 

  1. For 34% of marketers, lead generation is a top priority (HubSpot, 2022)

It’s particularly important for the automotive sector because the products are high-ticket offerings. Therefore, maintaining a regular frequency of new leads for your business is vital. 

Aim to make the most of each platform’s lead generation inventory, attracting prospects.

  1. 84% of marketers use form submissions to measure conversion (Ruler Analytics, 2021)

Having a lead form attached to your post or landing page means that users can directly share their information. They don’t need to search extensively for your contact information and then reach out.

Forms are a great way to collect lead data for automotive marketers


Forms are a great way to collect details of potential customers and have your team get in touch with them. 

Because of their convenience and effectiveness, forms are becoming star players in the lead generation race. 

  1. Include 3 to 5 questions in lead generation forms for higher conversion (Gartner, 2023)

The lower the number of questions on your forms, the higher the ‘quantity’ of leads. However, in the automotive industry, where transactions have high value, the ‘quality’ of leads is what matters. 

Automotive marketers who go beyond the basic introductory questions of name and contact, including a couple of more purposeful questions, can generate better quality leads. 

  1. 40% of marketers consider generating quality leads as their biggest challenge (Ruler Analytics, 2021)

At the same time, 39.5% of marketers believe that having more accurate data in their systems may improve their efforts. 

Yet, only 8% of automotive dealers completely trust lead data collected online. Shoppers end up repeating steps to verify their data for as much as 70% of dealers.

Vehicle buyers end up verifying data again at car dealerships


Collecting quality lead data continues to be a problem when automotive businesses don’t have the right system to validate leads. 

A lead management system like Driftrock not only collects and stores your lead data but also validates each lead before syncing with the CRM. So, if a lead enters a dummy email ID, Driftrock will clean it up for more accurate results. 

Quality leads show prospects having high purchase intent. And high intent equals higher chances of conversion. 

  1. 77% of buyers who submitted an enriched lead online were satisfied with their dealership of purchase (Cox Automotive, 2023)

Buyers who share more detailed information don’t have to verify their information again at the dealership. Instead, automotive businesses pick up right where they left off, from online to offline. 

It lowers friction during the buyer journey, encouraging more shoppers to complete a purchase. 

F. Lead management enhances omnichannel conversion

  1. For the automotive industry, the average conversion rate is 2% (Ruler Analytics, 2022)

Businesses that do well may also see a conversion rate as high as 16%. And one aspect of their digital marketing strategy that you can emulate is streamlining the omnichannel shopping experience. 

When buyers can move from online to offline easily, they’ll be more likely to stay loyal to you.


  1. Only 37% of buyers pick up with a dealer right where they shifted from online to offline without having to review information already submitted (Cox Automotive, 2023)

The industry is aware, with 97% of dealers acknowledging that customers complete steps online and have to repeat them in-store. It creates resistance during the customer journey, negatively impacting the buyer’s perception of your business. 

Customer satisfaction decreased by 46% in-store, owing to poor omnichannel integration. 

And dealers can barely keep up. 

  1. Only 1-in-4 dealers acknowledge that their digital solutions offer a congruent experience online and in-store (Cox Automotive, 2023)

Few dealers have systems that can back them up for a frictionless buying experience. It’s time to shift to better, more focused automotive marketing solutions. 

  1. 69% of dealers want to upgrade their digital workflow by implementing technology to refine the end-to-end customer experience by syncing buyer data to the deal (Cox Automotive, 2023)

A comprehensive lead management system like Driftrock makes this possible. You can not only collect incoming lead data, but you can also track each lead throughout their journey.


Lead management systems integrate with the CRM to fill missing gaps in buyer information, improving the omnichannel digital marketing process. 

G. Personalization refines automotive marketing strategies 

  1. 71% of consumers expect companies to provide personalised engagement (McKinsey, 2021)

Specifically, when you’re dealing with customers for high-ticket items like cars, personalisation is key. Buying a car is a dream come true for most shoppers. So, adding a personal touch makes the buyer happy and more likely to purchase from you. 

But how do you customise interactions for each customer? 

By gathering reliable lead data.

  1. 74% of shoppers are comfortable sharing personal data with the dealer to get tailored messages (Cox Automotive, 2023)

And another 29% are at ease when sharing social media data to help automotive businesses make relevant suggestions. 

Customers today understand that to receive personalised recommendations, they must share a certain amount of data. 

You can build trust by limiting the data you collect and not using it for intrusive digital marketing ads or messaging. 

  1. 81% of dealers note that digital retailing gives a more customised automotive shopping experience for buyers (Cox Automotive, 2023)

Since data flows better through automated tools, you can blend human and digital interactions to tailor the purchase experience. 

For instance, data collected from lead generation forms helps dealers identify a customer’s initial needs. AI-based recommendations can guide buyers to the right car for them. Dealers can also instantly check the availability of the preferred car or its anticipated delivery time. 

Using digital devices, dealers could also have buyers complete the purchase in just a few clicks. 

H. An ‘Agency Model’ could be the future sales process 

  1. 75% of customers hope to be able to purchase their next vehicle online (Capgemini, 2020)
  2. 91% of consumers prefer buying from an OEM or dealer website, if they receive a smooth online process (Capgemini, 2020)

An agency model is where the OEM manages the relationship between the customer and itself, while the dealer acts as an ‘agent’, facilitating interactions. The customer can choose the model they want and order it directly from the OEM’s website to their preferred dealer. 

As buyers continue moving towards an online, omnichannel purchase journey, the agency model provides OEMs with greater access to customer data. It helps manufacturers anticipate customer needs and serve them better. 

These insights also flow into larger business decisions and strategies, improving the overall experience for customers. 

Subsequently, an agency model is better equipped to make the customer journey seamless. 

  1. 36% of mobility customers are dissatisfied with current online purchase options (Accenture, 2022)

Instead of risking the loss of customers (particularly the next generation of shoppers who are extremely internet-savvy), OEMs and dealerships need to look for newer ways to satisfy online buying needs. 

The agency model is well positioned to provide a seamless digital purchase journey. Therefore, it will gain momentum with current and future automotive buyers wanting a better shopping experience. 

  1. Dealers adopting the genuine agency model may see a potential rise in enterprise value by 10-12% (Automotive News Europe, 2021)

If you’re a dealership, the agency model may initially reduce your autonomy. You may not have the flexibility to offer competitive prices or discounts and outperform other dealerships. 

However, as the manufacturer takes responsibility for day-to-day operations and inventory, you assume lesser financial risk. It also gives you more time to build relationships with customers and focus on providing consistent service. 

Level up your automotive marketing strategy 

The last few years have highlighted the increasing influence of online channels on the car-buying journey

Staying relevant and visible through digital marketing needs a data system to back you up. As customers demand more personalisation and convenience, now’s the time to incorporate a lead management platform into your process. 

Driftrock’s lead management system collects, validates, stores and syncs data with multiple tools. So, when you need high-quality data, you’ll always have it at your fingertips. You can customise each interaction and increase conversion with validated information.

Our platform is already powering lead generation for 22 automotive brands and over 500 dealerships, including Honda, BMW, Land Rover and Mini. Learn more about Driftrock’s capabilities.